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China’s cultivation of Jared Kushner as an asset shows he’s ‘ideal target’ for foreign agents: CNN analyst

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Jared Kushner has been cultivated as an asset by the Chinese government thanks to his total lack of political experience and outsized reach within the federal government, said CNN on Saturday.

Anchor Ana Cabrera welcomed Adam Entous, one of the authors of a bombshell New Yorker article that said Kushner has violated protocols by meeting with China’s ambassador alone and that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law still does not have a permanent security clearance.

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Entous explained that the relationship between China’s ambassador and Kushner was brokered by former Sec. of State Henry Kissinger, who introduced the two men during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The FBI met with Kushner during the transition to warn him about potential security risks, but Entous said Kushner’s family is heavily invested in Chinese holdings, which gives the Chinese government a possible lever of influence.

CNN security analyst Samantha Vinograd said that Kushner’s lack of experience and unprecedented access to U.S. state secrets make him an “ideal foreign intelligence target.”

“The Russians and the Chinese are the top of the list from a counterintelligence perspective,” said Vinograd. “Jared Kushner has the access, the influence and the inexperience that foreign intelligence services often try to manipulate.”

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Those agencies find people who can get them information they want and affect policy decisions. Furthermore, she said, they try to find someone with “some kind of secret that can be manipulated” like a drug addiction or “undisclosed foreign contacts or undisclosed or misreported financial transactions.”

Watch the video, embedded below:

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White House pulls new FEMA nominee for barroom brawl — but not for his boss’ bribery

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow began her Wednesday show detailing that Jeff Byard, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead FEMA, has withdrawn his name from nomination because of an "altercation" previously reported.

Already Trump's FEMA is having problems because of the lead FEMA officials being named in serious bribery scandals. Byard's boss, in particular, is under a 10-count indictment. To make matters worse, a former deputy is also under indictment, but for a completely different case involving a 2013 Navy scandal.

"Any mystery around that part of the guy’s past would have been cleared up this past year in August when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in that Navy bribery scheme," Maddow reported. "He was arrested thereafter."

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Right-wing activists call on Mitch McConnell to stop blocking election security bills

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On Wednesday, CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing renewed pressure to take up election security legislation, from a pair of unlikely sources: Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, and FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

Norquist — who once famously said that he wanted to slash government to a size where he could "drown it in a bathtub" — called for hand-marked paper ballots, and urged Congress to pass something similar to the bipartisan Secure Elections Act, which would have given states incentives to switch to secure voting methods and promoted data-sharing to identify threats. The measure was first introduced in 2017 by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Lankford (D-OK), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), but never came to a vote.

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DNI whistleblower complaint stems from promise Trump allegedly made in phone call to foreign leader: report

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On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the source of the whistleblower complaint currently being suppressed by the Director of National Intelligence is a phone conversation between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader.

According to the report, the whistleblower became aware that the president made a "promise" to this unspecified foreign leader, and was so disturbed by the nature of that promise that he or she filed a complaint through channels set up to help whistleblower claims involving classified information.

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